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Himachal’s first Zero Budget crop yields 5 quintal per acre, encouraging says UHF




Solan: Himachal Pradesh has finally harvested the first trial crop grown under the Zero Budget Natural Farming(ZBNF) model at the Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni.

As part of Centre Government’s campaign to double farmers’ income by 2022, Acharya Devvrat had been insisting the farmers to adopt zero-budget farming since the day he was appointed as the Governor of the State.

Therefore, the University picked up the ZBNF trial project after these repeated preaching of the Acharya Devvrat, Governor and the Chancellor of the University.

Harvesting in progress at the ZBNF farm

Last week, the scientists of the UHF picked up peas at the ZBNF farm that falls under the Directorate of Research of the University.

The varsity claimed the results are quite encouraging. Based on the first harvest, the production is calculated to be around 5 quintals per acre land. The team is expecting up to three pickings from the crop.

Now, the varsity will sell the harvest to locals to take a feedback on the quality of the crop.

For this trial, the research team planted two varieties of peas at the farm. The first variety was P-89 while the second variety, Azad-P1, was planted 15 days later. Both varieties have coriander as a border crop, which will be ready for sale by the end of the week.

Harvesting in progress at the ZBNF farm

The seeds were irrigated after treating them with ‘Bijamrit.

The spray of “Jivamrit” after every 15 days of germination followed it. The scientists are now evaluating the performance of the two varieties under this model.

The results have been highly encouraging and we plan to increase the crop area under this model and also expand to crops like tomato and capsicum. The pods in each plant ranged between four to eight,

said Dr. Rajeshwar Chandel, Joint Director (Forestry) and Coordinator of ZBNF at the University.

He said the first crop faced no damage from pest and diseases despite the fact that leaf minor, an insect pest, generally appears on the crop.

Opposed to, while talking to Himachal Watcher, a local farmer of Shimla termed 5q production per acre as low quantity. He also questioned the government over the arrangement of ensuring a better price for ZBNF crops in markets as compared to traditionally grown crops.

The cow dung and other components required to prepare Bijamrit and Jivamrit add to the cost if the farmer is not rearing cattle or lack sufficient cattle to produce enough dung. Cattle rearing also include expenses, the farmer said.

He expressed doubts over the government’s claim to double the farmers’ income by 2022.

While kicking- off the project on Jan 30, 2018, the Governor had stated that traditional farming uses chemical fertilizers and pesticides, while the organic farming was very costly for farmers. Both cases are not viable for the farmers’ community, he had said.  

Instead, in the ZBNF, the farmers use manure produced from cow dung, urine, jaggery and gram flour. The pesticides are produced from local products with no side-effects. Moreover, the Governor had added that zero-budget farming is producing quality equal to traditional farming.

Apart from peas, the university has also planted cauliflower, onion, and fenugreek under the ZBNF model. These crops will be ready for harvest by the end of the March 2018. Various departments of the university are also undertaking studies under this natural farming model in their research.

Read More About Zero Budget Natural Farming

Misc News/Press Release

DC Kangra confirms abduction of 3 Himachalis in Nigeria, CM seeks Centre Govt’s help



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: The Deputy Commissioner of Kangra today confirmed that Nigerian sea pirates have held three men hailing from Kangra hostages for ransom.

The state government said it has taken up the matter with the Government of India and requested the safe release of all three hostages.

The step came after the news appeared in regional media.

The State government claimed that in a communiqué to the Western Africa Division, Ministry of External Affairs, the state government said the three youths namely Sushil Kumar, Pankaj Kumar and Ajay Kumar, who belong to Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh have been kidnapped by the Nigerian pirates as per the confirmed report.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has sought the intervention of Union government to ensure the safe release of three hostages.He hoped the union government will act fast and get the hostages released safely.

You can read the entire matter here in HW’s previous article.

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Govt silent over safety of 3 Himachali youth allegedly held hostages by Nigerian pirates for ransom



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: Three youths hailing from Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, who were serving in Merchant Navy, have reportedly ended in the hands of armed Nigerian sea pirates as hostages. The armed pirates hijacked their ship and demanded a ransom of 11 million nairas (20-22 Lakh INR) from the parents of one of the hostages.

The details are scanty as no official confirmation has been made by the State or Centre Government. It is not clear when they were abducted. 

The news broke out when Raghubir Singh (62) of Nagrota, father of one of the hostages, reached media yesterday.  

As per the information given by Raghubir, the other two men included Pankaj Kumar of Samloti and Ajay Kumar of Palampur.

The three men were currently working for a private shipping company named Max Marine Services in Cortnou Benin.

On March 12, the parents of one of the abducted youth, Susheel Sharma (37), who was the captain on the ship, received a call through a satellite phone. Susheel told the parents that he along with two others had been held hostage in some jungle. He told the parents about the pirate’s demand for ransom in exchange for their release.

On March 21, Himachal had received a shock after the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed, while speaking in the Parliament, the killing of 39 Indians in Iraq including four men from Himachal. Three of them hailed from Kangra while remaining one belonged to Mandi district.

Now, this fresh case of abduction has again jolted Kangra.

Surprisingly, as alleged by the parents, the Centre or State Government have not given any reaction to the situation.   

The district administration also said it was not aware of the situation.

The parents also alleged the shipping company of keeping them in dark whenever they contacted it to know whereabouts of their son. The owner of the ship told the parents that a negotiation was ongoing with the pirates.

However, recently, the owner stopped picking up phone calls from the aggrieved parents.  

Ultimately, the family on March 18 approached the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the Prime Minister, Modi,  through a mail with their plea to intervene and rescue their son.

However, the parents allege that they did not receive any satisfactory response from anyone. 

As per the statement of the parents, Sudhir had told them that they are getting only one meal per day. The pirates will starve them to death if the ransom is not paid, Sudhir had told the parents.

Now, the parents do not trust the company anymore and have put their hope on the Government.   


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Man killed as stone rolls down hill, breaks through moving HRTC bus window in Kullu



Bizzare Bus Accident in Himachal's Kullu

Kullu: A big round stone rolled down a hill and broke through the window of a moving Himachal Pradesh Road Corporation (HRTC) bus that was heading towards Kullu from Rampur today. The accident occurred near Luhri in Kullu.  A co-passenger who was sitting beside the deceased also came in spate and received injuries.

However, the deceased, who was identified as Manohar Singh (60) of Tippal village in Anni, died on the spot.  The injured was identified as Vijay Kumar of Kumarsain. He was taken to hospital in Rampur. 

The death came from nowhere and picked up its prey within a fraction of a second, said the eyewitnesses. The stone hit Manohar right on his head, which was badly crushed.  

Other passengers were horrified by the bizarre and sudden manner the stone broke through the window like a bullet.  

A police team from Luhri rushed to the spot and took custody of the dead body.  The elected MLA Kishori Lal Sagar also arrived at the spot on hearing the tragic news. The body was later handed over to the family after the postmortem.

The district administration provided Rs. 20, 000 to the victim’s family as immediate relief. The HRTC also announced Rs. 10,000 as relief money.  

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